"I hope it gives other survivors out there – whether they seek help or not – I hope it helps them through it."
CONTENT WARNING: This article contains discussion of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, domestic or family violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 1800RESPECT.org.au.
Lindsay Ell is speaking out on sexual assault allegations made against Jimmie Allen by his former manager.
Ell, who dueted with Allen on his song Tequila Talkin’, a duet off his Bettie James Gold Edition album in 2022, told Taste Of Country, "It was really, really heartbreaking to read that article. It was just like – 'This is crazy. This is crazy. It's hard to believe.”
The woman, who identifies herself as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, is suing Allen for assault, sexual battery, false imprisonment, sex trafficking and emotional distress. She claims he repeatedly raped her and subjected her to sexual abuse over a period of a year and a half.
"I stand behind Jane Doe, as she is referred to in that article, in feeling like coming forward was what she needed to do, and sharing her story," Ell continued. "I hope it gives other survivors out there – whether they seek help or not – I hope it helps them through it."
Doe is also suing her former employer, Wide Open Music, and Ash Bowers, its founder, who she claims terminated her after she told them about the alleged abuse.
Join our community with our FREE weekly newsletter
"It's so easy for an organisation, like, even a management company, to be like, 'Don't worry about it. It's not that big of a deal.' It's easy to brush something off that is actually a very big deal," Ell said. "[Open conversation about this issue] makes it not okay for sexual harassment to happen – in a work environment, in a personal environment, anywhere," she continued. "If a company hears that something may be going on, I hope we can create a culture and a society and an environment where that is not okay, and not tolerated. The minute that somebody is, even a little bit, like, 'Something needs to be done about this,' [the response shouldn't be], 'We're gonna sweep it under the rug.'"
The problem of sexual assault and harassment and the importance of supporting survivors are both causes close to Ell's heart. In 2020, she revealed that she was raped at the age of 13, and again at 21.
"Part of me talking about it now is liberating the little 13-year-old Lindsay and the 21-year-old Lindsay,” she said at the time. "Pain is something we can let control us if we don't deal with it, but the minute you put a voice to your story the shame has no power. … I felt so alone for so long, like 'This only happened to me.' But it's not true. If I would've known that when I was 13, I would have felt such a deep feeling of relief."
In a song called Make You, Ell shares her perspective on the first assault, discussing how it impacted her life, mental health and relationship with her body at various ages in her life. She has since launched her Make You Movement, a charity that partners with organisations including the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence, as well as at-risk youth.
Following the allegations, Allen issued a statement through his Instagram page.
“I want to publicly apologise to my wife Alexis for humiliating her with my affair,” Allen wrote in the now deleted post. “I’m embarrassed that my choices have brought shame on her. That’s something that she did not deserve at all. I also want to apologise to my children for being a poor example of a man and a father. I’m working on becoming a better person that my kids can be proud of. My goal is to be better than the generation before me.
“This business takes so much from you. It’s full of temptations that can cripple you and ruin everything you’ve built. I’m ashamed that I wasn’t strong enough to withstand them. I will no longer be a victim of my weaknesses. I challenge everyone to seek help when they need it. Do not be afraid of your weakness, surround yourself with people that WILL help you. Be blessed.”
In her formal lawsuit, Doe claims that Allen raped her in March 2021, while they were both in Los Angeles to film an episode of American Idol. Another incident allegedly occurred in May 2021, when Allen was promoting his children’s book on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
In light of the allegations, Allen was dropped by his record label (BBR Music Group) and denied the allegations in a formal statement, written shortly after the lawsuit emerged.
"It is deeply troubling and hurtful that someone I counted as one of my closest friends, colleagues and confidants would make allegations that have no truth to them whatsoever.
“I acknowledge that we had a sexual relationship – one that lasted for nearly two years. During that time, she never once accused me of any wrongdoing, and she spoke of our relationship and friendship as being something she wanted to continue indefinitely. Only after things ended between us, did she hire a lawyer to reach out and ask for money, which leads me to question her motives.
“The simple fact is, her accusations are not only false, but also extremely damaging. I've worked incredibly hard to build my career, and I intend to mount a vigorous defense [sic] to her claims and take all other legal action necessary to protect my reputation.”